Russia ready to abandon Zaporizhzhia NPP in exchange for transit of oil and gas through Ukraine

Russia is ready to leave the territory of the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in exchange for uninterrupted transit of oil and gas through Ukraine.

Source: Latvia-based Russian media outlet Meduza, citing two sources close to the Kremlin that spoke on condition of anonymity

Details: A source close to the Kremlin and an interlocutor close to the Russian government, claims that the Russian Federation is ready to quit Zaporizhzhia NPP, but does not plan to completely leave Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Meduza reports that the Kremlin plans to hand over the NPP either to the Ukrainian authorities or to the IAEA.

As the sources state, in exchange for the withdrawal of troops from the NPP, the Russian authorities expect to receive guarantees of uninterrupted transit of oil and gas through the territory of Ukraine.

The interlocutors claim that both the Kremlin and the government "are ready for an agreement," since "pumping and selling oil and gas is very important for the Russian budget."

In a comment to Meduza, Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, rejected the possibility of such an agreement.

Background:

  • The Russian occupiers seized control of the ZNPP at the start of a full-scale invasion. On 5 October 2022, Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the alleged transition of the plant to Russian ownership.

  • On 27 November, Petro Kotin, president of the national nuclear energy company Energoatom, reported on air of the national joint 24/7 newscast that there are signs that the occupiers may be getting ready to abandon the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

  • Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, has stated that withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was out of the question.

Reference:

  • The southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline, which supplies Russian oil to Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland, passes through the territory of Ukraine. Herman Halushchenko, Minister of Energy of Ukraine, reiterated that the reason for the stoppage of the pipeline is Russian shelling.

  • Earlier, Bloomberg reported that the transit of natural gas through Ukraine to Western Europe was at risk after Russia’s attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure

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